STRIKE UP THE BAND: Honda’s latest-generation Jazz small car has arrived with more size, less weight, improved fuel consumption and more safety and comfort features.HONDA has set its new Jazz small car, released on Tuesday on the Gold Coast, the formidable task of clawing back market share in a bid to help the company finish the back half of the year with respectable sales numbers.
This latest Jazz, the third generation of the funky five-door that made its global debut in 2001 and its first Australian appearance in 2002, holds tight to the formula that has seen it sell around 800 units monthly and become Honda’s second-most popular Australian market car.
That formula calls for a cheeky external appearance and a roomy interior with plenty of seating flexibility to maximise the available space and trumping its nearest rivals, cars such as Ford’s Fiesta, Mazda’s Mazda2 and Hyundai’s i20.
This time around though Honda has changed the game plan. The Thai-built car has grown by 96mm in length courtesy of a new platform but is around 25kilograms lighter while the standard equipment list has grown substantially. Interior volume is up by 139litres courtesy of an 80mm increase in load floor length and rear leg room is up by a healthy 115mm.
A newly-developed automatic transmission is standard for the top two variants and optional on the entry-level car (which gets a standard five-speed manual gearbox) while the old 1.3litre, four-cylinder engine used for the start-up model in the outgoing range has gone, replaced by a new 1.5litre engine across the three-model range.
The new engine develops 88kilowatts of power at 6600rpm and 145Newtonmetres of torque at 4600rpm.
Average fuel consumption figures are down to 6.2litres/100km for the entry-level VTi model with manual transmission and 5.8litres/100km for cars running the new continuously variable automatic transmission, an improvement of around 12percent.
Jazz pricing starts at $14,990 for the VTi model with automatic transmission a $2000 option.
Prices do not include on-road costs.